Communications & Media Consumer Protection Antitrust & Trade Regulation

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FTC and 10 States Settle with Caribbean Cruise Lines for Robocall Accusations

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and ten states settled charges against the Florida-based cruise line, Caribbean Cruise Line, Inc. (CCL), for an illegal telemarking campaign that inundated consumers with billions...more

Advertising Law - February 2017 #4

Not-So-Smart TV: Vizio Settles Over Data Collection - For installing software on smart TVs and collecting viewing data on 11 million consumers without their knowledge or consent, Vizio, Inc. will pay the Federal Trade...more

Unfair Commercial Practices: The European Court of Justice Specifies Criteria for Comparative Advertising

On 8 February 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down a judgment on a reference for a preliminary ruling stating that comparative advertising can be misleading if consumers are not provided with information on...more

FTC Suing Router Company Without Underlying Data Loss

The new Administration may stand for regulatory rollback in many areas, but consumer privacy is (so far) not one. Trump's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is pursuing a router manufacturer whose equipment hasn't caused any...more

Q&A with Joshua Gans, author of “The Disruption Dilemma”

Your recent book “The Disruption Dilemma” examines how disruption can destroy even the best managed corporations. The case studies in your book – the mobile phone industry disrupted by Apple, Blockbuster’s store-based video...more

VIZIO Pays $2.2 Million for Viewing Histories on 11 Million Smart Televisions

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a press release on February 6, 2017 that it and the State of New Jersey have settled with Vizio for $2.2 million for claims that Vizio installed software on its smart TVs to collect...more

FTC Requires that iSpring’s “Built in USA” Claims Hold Water

On February 1, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and iSpring Water Systems, LLC (“iSpring”) reached a settlement regarding its false, misleading, and unsupported claims that its water filtration systems and parts are...more

Big Brother and your TV – Vizio settles lawsuit with FTC and NJ Attorney General

Vizio sold more than 11 million smart televisions since 2010. These televisions contained tracking devices which captured consumers’ IP addresses and television watching practices without alerting consumers or getting their...more

FTC / DAA Extend Data Privacy Focus to Cross-Device Tracking

Enforcement of the Digital Advertising Alliance “Application of the Principles of Transparency and Control to Data Used Across Devices” (DAA Cross-Device Principles) officially began on February 1, just a week after the FTC...more

When a Regulation is Like “a ‘Mongrel’ – With No Offense to Dogs”

It’s not every day that a federal court describes a regulation as “a ‘mongrel’ – with no offense to dogs.” But last week, that’s how a federal court characterized a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulation on the...more

No Harm, But Foul? FTC Sues Internet of Things Maker D-Link for Security “Vulnerabilities” Despite No Allegations of Breach

Shortly after the new year, the Federal Trade Commission filed suit in the Northern District of California against D-Link Corporation, a Taiwan-based maker of wireless routers, Internet Protocol (IP) cameras, and software...more

Spectrum Facing Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Over Wireless Internet Speed Claim Practices

The Office of the Attorney General for the State of New York (“NYAG”) has filed a consumer fraud complaint against Charter Communications, Inc. and Spectrum Management Holding Company, LLC (“Spectrum”) for deceptive practices...more

Ninth Circuit Refines Antitrust Standing Doctrine Under Illinois Brick

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently addressed again when plaintiffs have standing to pursue federal antitrust claims under the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, 431...more

FTC and DeVry University Settle False Advertising Claims for $100M

In December 2016, DeVry University agreed to pay $100 million to settle a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over allegations stemming from DeVry’s advertising about the employment rates and salaries of its...more

2017 Food And Beverage Industry Outlook: Part 2

As discussed in part 1 of this two-part series, the food and beverage industry is expected to see regulatory and legislative changes on multiple fronts in 2017. But industry observers also anticipate an active year in U.S....more

Disclosure Is Key for Cross-Device Tracking, FTC Staff Report Says

If you or your third-party providers are engaged in cross-device tracking, you must adequately disclose the practice to your end users, provide them control over their information, and exercise care when collecting sensitive...more

New Lawsuits Challenge Qualcomm’s Allegedly Anticompetitive Patent Practices

The Federal Trade Commission filed suit last week in federal court against Qualcomm, Inc., following its investigation launched in September 2014. The FTC alleges that the semiconductor manufacturer illegally maintained a...more

Using Hashtag #Disclosures in Social Media Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has been cracking down on brands for paying Instagram users to endorse their products or to share brand content without disclosing the relationship. Indeed, the recent settlements entered...more

Puff … Puff … Sue? Distinguishing an Aggressive Sales Pitch from an Actionable Misrepresentation

Everyone’s heard it before: “This is the best phone on the market!” “There’s no faster internet anywhere!” “Best looking car you’ll see on the road!” “X Co. has the greatest brains behind it!”...more

Unfair Commercial Practices – The Italian Competition Authority and The Italian Communication Authority Sign a Memorandum of...

On 13 January 2017, the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) and the Italian Communication Authority (AGCOM) signed a memorandum of understanding concerning several aspects of their cooperation in the application of...more

Bullet Points on a Primer: The Quick Version of the Sedona Conference’s Data Privacy Primer

The Sedona Conference has just published the public comment version of its Data Privact Primer, a publication of its very active Working Group on Data Security and Privacy Libaility. The primer is excellent. ...more

Tribal Sovereign Immunity Not a Bar to Payday Lending Enforcement Action, California Supreme Court Rules

In a state enforcement action alleging violations of California's lending law and seeking to enjoin continued lending to state residents, the California Supreme Court has ruled that the two tribally affiliated entities that...more

FTC Grants Summary Judgment Against California Naturel, Inc. Falsely Advertising “All Natural” Sunscreen Products

In its opinion in In re California Naturel, Inc., the Federal Trade Commission held that the California Naturel, Inc. advertising promoting its “all natural” sunscreen on its website as containing “only the purest, most...more

FTC Settles Claim of False Representations by Digital Advertising Company

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has entered into a Consent Order to resolve a complaint brought against a digital advertising company, Turn Inc. Turn provided advertisers with the ability to engage in targeted...more

Privacy Tip #67 – Don’t Fall for Telemarketing Schemes Offering to Fix Your Computer

I received a call last week on my home land line and when I picked it up (hardly anyone I want to actually talk to calls my home telephone number) the caller on the other end informed me that he was from “Microsoft 10,” that...more

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